WPCNR PRESS BOX. By John F. Bailey. September 14, 2002: New Rochelle turned four White Plains turnovers into touchdowns in the second quarter Saturday afternoon at Parker Stadium to win a League 1-A clash, 42-7.
White Plains played even in the second half, discovering a passer and receiver combination with promise: Mike Devere who connected three times to Evan McGuire, the third time an 18-yard scoring strike for the Tigers only TD in the opening of the second half.
KICKOFF A TURNING POINT? Electing to kick off with a prevailing southwind, White Plains kicks off to the Huguenots. The kick was strong taken on the 15, but Courtney Greene returned it 25 yards to the 45 for great field position for the opening drive. They punched in for the first TD in 7 plays, the score coming on a 22-yard run around left end, down the sideline 4th and 1 play by Jamal Henderson.
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One Long Half.
The Tigers had one really bad half yesterday, and it started with the knowledge that there was no scoreboard. The big orange-lettered scoreboard was not in service. Quarters were timed on the field, and seemed to this reporter interminably long. The first half took an hour and a half to play, 30 plays in the first quarter, most of them runs, with frequent timeouts on the sultry 80 degree afternoon.
Not Without Opportunity.
After the opening New Rochelle scoring drive where New Rochelle’s big, rangy, overpowering line just opened holes at will, the Tigers got a modest drive going from their own 33. On a Sean McLaughlin pass on 2nd and 10 from the Tiger 45, he fired to Darrell Mack over the middle at the Huguenot 43 and a push by the defender gave the Tigers a first down on the spot.
Then the first of the fumbles began. Quarterback McLaughlin took the snap and fumbled losing the ball. New Rochelle took over, only to fumble it right back, giving the ball back to the Tigers on the NR 42. On the next play, Spencer Ridenhour fumbled it right back, again first down, New Rochelle. Was it sticky, sweaty hands on a dry, humid day? Who knew?
After White Plains tightened up on defense and stopped NR for 6 plays on a great sack by Evan McGuire on the New Rochelle quarterback, White Plains took over on their 32, and the Palmer throng sensed that the Tigers were in the game.
Four Touchdowns in Second Quarter After Muffed Punt.
With New Rochelle punting with the wind this quarter, Spencer Ridenhour failed to field a high kick, it hit him in the knees, and New Rochelle recovered at the White Plains 15 yard line. They scored on an 11-yard run by Courtney Greene on the second play, 14-0.
The Tigers never recovered, and the execution errors multiplied. An interception of a McLaughlin pass set up New Rochelle after the following kick-off on the Tiger 48 and a 48 yard pass made it 20-0.
Two more touchdowns on an interception and a return of yet another White Plains fumble made it 36-0 at the half. Daymare! It seemed a season of bad football, by both teams (New Rochelle fumbled too) was packed into one quarter.
THE WHITE PLAINS HIGH SCHOOL BAND PERFORMS at halftime, none too soon, under direction of Leslie Tompkins. The 80-member band looked sharp, delivered “We want a touchdown,” (a football song!) and perked up downcast but good-natured, gallows-humored fans.
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Mike Devere took over at quarterback the second half, and hooked up with Evan McGuire and Darrell Mack on a number of sparkeling receptions in the flat. Devere was given more time in the pocket than an often-pressured Sean McLaughlin received in the first half, and New Rochelle was not playing all its first string line. However, lefty Devere spun around and threw sharp flat passes to McGuire and Darrell Mack that moved the football on two drives in the third quarter, handling the ball well under pressure. To be fair, McLaughlin was under a severe pass rush in the first half, and was not given the time to locate his receivers before they could finish their routes. The tall New Rochelle rushers made it difficult to spot the receivers.
PAGEANTRY OF PARKER STADIUM ON SATURDAY: The 42-7 loss, evened the Tigers record at 1-1. They travel to play Ramapo next Saturday at 1:30 PM.
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